Public Awareness - Laura's Law

Laura's Law
The Fort Smith Police Department has been asked to create a resource page on our website in order to provide information to law enforcement and the public in reference to Laura's Law and Laura's Card. We will continue to update this page as new information and resources are received. Please refer back to this page for any updates.

If you have any questions or need clarification on the domestic violence elements of Laura's Card or the lethality assessments, please contact the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence at (501) 907-5612 or (800) 269-4668. Please contact the Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault at (866) 632-2272 (toll free number) or (501) 246-3276 (local number) if you have any sexual assault related questions. Additional resources can be found at www.acasa.us.


Laura's Law (Lethality Assessment)
The recently enacted "Laura's Law" requires Arkansas police officers responding to domestic violence incidents to ask victims a set of questions to evaluate their risk of being killed by abuse, such as whether the offender has ever used a weapon against the victim or controls most of the victim's daily activities. The assessment aims to help identify victims in severe danger needing intervention. Police will also present victims with a "Laura's Card," a document listing their rights and contact information for local prosecutors and shelters.

Law enforcement agencies responding to crime incidents are now required to inform victims in writing of their victim's rights. Officers MUST inform victims of the availability of services: medical, housing, counseling, financial, social, legal, and emergency services. In addition, officers MUST inform victims about how to obtain orders of protection, how to access public records related to the case, and about the Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Board (including the address and phone number).

Laura's Law is named after three women affected by domestic violence. They include Laura Aceves, a Eureka Springs woman who was killed by her ex-boyfriend in 2012, and her mother, Laura Ponce, who has since become an advocate for domestic violence victims. The bill and the name of "Laura's Card" were also inspired by victims' rights advocate and domestic violence survivor Laura Webb, who was nearly killed by her husband in 2012.


Laura's Law/Card and Helpful Resource Links
Purpose:
  • Links to the Arkansas Crime Information Center which contains Arkansas’ Victims’ Bill of Rights and Crime Victims’ Guide to the Arkansas Judicial System.
  • Information concerning legal aid and printable protective orders.
  • Links to Vine Link notification system.
  • Information and a link to the Arkansas Crime Victim’s Reparation Program.
  • Links to government agencies where more detailed information on victims’ rights and resources are located
  • Space provided for local victims’ services information including available medical, housing, counseling, financial, social, legal, and emergency services

Posting
A copy/link of Laura’s Card is available on this law enforcement website.

First responders, law enforcement agencies, local service providers, State Park Rangers, School Security and SRO's and Health Providers all prove a critical part of the healing journey for victims of crime. Laura’s Card complies with the legal requirements. Using information and services listed, victims will be empowered to move from helplessness to hopefulness.


Download Laura's Card
Click here to download Laura's Card      (En Espanol)


PDF Documents:
[PDF] ACT 873, creation of Laura’s Card

[PDF] ACT 877, creation of Laura’s Law

[PDF] Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence Shelter Listings

[PDF] Laura’s Card Explanation

[PDF] Laura’s Law-Card Questions & Answers

[PDF] Arkansas Victim’s Rights

[PDF] Sebastian County Order of Protection Information Sheet

[PDF] Sebastian County Petition for Protective Order

[PDF] Domestic Violence Safety Plan

(Download Adobe Acrobat Reader here if needed.)


Helpful Resources:
Office of the Sebastian County Prosecutor, Dan Shue
http://www.sebastiancountyar.gov/Courts/Prosecuting-Attorney
Sebastian County Justice Building
901 South B ST
Fort Smith, AR 72901
(479) 783-8976


Victim Witness Coordinator
(479) 783-8976

Office of the Attorney General, Leslie Rutledge
Tower Building 323 Center ST
Little Rock, AR 72201
(501) 682-1020 or (800) 448-3014
http://arkansasag.gov/programs/criminal-justice/crime-victim-reparations


Fort Smith Crisis Intervention Center
(800) 359-0056 or (479) 782-1821
http://www.fscic.org


Arkansas Administrative Office to the Courts Domestic Violence Program
(501) 682-1953
https://courts.arkansas.gov/administration/domestic-violence


Video guide on how to obtain a protective order
https://courts.arkansas.gov/administration/domestic-violence/video-guides


Court Connect (Information on proceedings)
https://caseinfo.aoc.arkansas.gov/cconnect/PROD/public/ck_public_qry_main.cp_main_idx


Arkansas Legal Service Partnership
http://arlegalservices.org/domesticviolence


Victim Information and Notification Everyday Network (VINE)
https://www.vinelink.com


Arkansas Crime Information Center (ACIC) Victim Impact Statement
Arkansas Crime Information Center (ACIC) Victim Impact Statement